How would you describe FOCAS ministries? What comes to your mind? FOCAS is an acronym that stands for The Foundation of Compassionate American Samaritans. In July it will officially turn 30 years old. Amazingly, Bob Clarke, our Director of Ministry Operations has been involved with FOCAS since the early 90’s, and I have been here since the week before the riots broke out in April of 2001. However, my first encounter with FOCAS and Dick Taylor came in the summer of 1999 when my family joined FOCAS on a two week mission trip to Haiti. That’s where I like to remind myself when God recalibrated my heart as to what is important – people.
The word that strikes me in our acronym is the word Samaritans. The term challenged me to better understand the story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible. Briefly, Samaritans were not well thought of at the time, yet it was a Samaritan who helped the poor Jewish man who was robbed, beaten, and left for dead. Earlier, a priest and Levite had a chance to get involved but they walked past the helpless man. Simply put, Jesus was describing the definition of who our neighbors are. He used this parable when explaining the definition to a lawyer who asked him who his neighbor is. (Luke 10: 25-37) In the end, Jesus says to the lawyer – “Go and do likewise” vs 37.
Fortunately, a person does not have to go to Haiti to learn this. We, as the body of Christ, can cross cultures into our own backyard and inner-city to meet and serve neighbors – neighbors who have been robbed, beaten, and left for dead. To learn more go to www.focas-us.org and click on the video tab to meet some new neighbors.
Scott Bowers - Executive Director